Thank you to Denise and Frank Sebastianelli for sharing your deaf therapy dog Bo’s story with all of our Deaf Dogs Rock Community. We love sharing these positive Therapy Dog stories globally on how deaf dogs can make exceptional therapy dogs.  Bo is proof positive that with the right training and socialization, deaf dogs can go into noisy medical centers, hospice centers, and nursing homes to do a good job at being there for others. In most cases each deaf dog is completely relaxed and focused on the patients (and their families) to bring them much needed comfort. Rock on Bo, rock on! ~

Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock

 

Blaidden’s Rainbow “Bo” -Going From Last Pick to Rocking His Therapy Dog Work

Our sweet Bo has forever changed our lives. When we went to pick out a new puppy after losing a very special dog named Blaidden, we could not have imagined the journey we were about to begin. We wanted to do therapy dog work and decided to get a Flat Coated Retriever for their fun, silly, sweet
personality. We went to look at the last two puppies left in the litter; one was said to be outgoing and confident, a really great pup. The other one, we were told, is quiet and shy and will be the last one to go. So we played with the “best” puppy while the other puppy was left over in a corner, sleeping. Well, this first puppy was of course adorable, but we asked to see the other one, and they reluctantly brought him to us. “You really don’t want this one. The other one has a great personality and you can’t teach that, this one is shy.” Well, the ”shy, quiet and not so great pup” crawled up into my husband’s arms, put his head on his shoulder, snuggled in and never left.

 

We named him Blaidden’s Rainbow, “Bo”, and he was pure joy. He was smart, funny and happy. We did notice some differences; it was hard to get his attention at times, but he’s a pup, right? It was a few weeks later when we really knew for sure he was deaf. We were worried at first. What are we going to do, how will we train him, can he still be a therapy dog? Then it immediately hit us… we realized he was the same puppy as before we knew he was deaf, he is still the happy, confident, outgoing, silly puppy that no one thought he would be. The last pick of his litter. the shy pup who wasn’t shy, but just couldn’t hear with his ears. We did our research, found the Deaf Dogs Rock website and learned that Bo can hear with his heart. As well as any other dog can hear with his ears. We started adding hand signals, went to puppy class as planned and Bo continued to learn and grow as fast as we could teach him. People are always so shocked to find out he is deaf. We are continuously educating people on the ability of deaf dogs to be happy, smart and well adjusted.

Bo passed his Canine Good Citizen Test at one year and just became a registered Therapy Dog at the age of two. However, Bo has been a therapy dog since the day we brought him home at 8 weeks. He has a magical way of making my Mom smile through difficult times and we are so happy he will now be able share this gift with many more people in need of joy and comfort. Bo will soon be visiting local hospitals, hospice and nursing homes. We are most excited to work with our veterans at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center and St Rita’s School for the Deaf.

 

It’s not always easy. There are challenges and obstacles, but that’s okay because you just have to keep working and keep loving. If Bo had not passed the Therapy Dog test, that would have been okay too. We love him and he makes so many people happy in his everyday life, but we knew Bo was just too special not to try to share him with the world. We cannot wait to continue our journey with him as he goes out into the world to share his love of life. He is our Blaidden’s Rainbow, our Bo.

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